The War at the Metal Detectors
As most Allderdice students can attest, the scene that falls over the metal detectors in the morning can be described in one word: chaotic. There are students pressed up against walls, students pressed up against doors, and students pressed up against other students as they wait for their bags to be “meticulously searched” for the bombs that they’re convinced are all the rage in public schools these days. The Foreword is troubled not only by the animosity displayed by both students and administrators but the lack of efficiency as well.
For instance, an issue that has gained grand infamy around the school this year is the administration’s insistence on checking opened water bottles at the detectors and forcing students to empty their bottles. The justification here is that students are capable of putting alcohol into these bottles, so the school is taking no chances and is making it mandatory that all opened bottles be emptied before passing the detectors. To the majority of the student body it seems like an extraneous rule, and while The Foreword may agree with the students, the best way to handle this situation is to simply accept the law of the land and try to speak with Mrs. Friez or other administrators individually rather than defy the morning security guards when both parties are, to be frank, already highly irritable.
Another recurring problem with the chaos at the detectors is the disorganization that occurs on the bag tables. Students are supposed to “open all compartments and zippers”, place their bags on the table, walk through the detectors, and then gather their belongings. This has been the point of highest contention in the mornings: security officers and other bag searchers can be constantly heard telling students not to “stack bags” upon other bags, which apparently makes their job more difficult. While The Foreword may be hard pressed to explain to the student body why that is, the best advice we can give is to once again go along with the rules rather than defy the law and hold up the entire line.
The problem that normally occurs here is that students will forget to unzip a compartment, put it on the table, and then have to stand on the other side for five minutes or until one of the searchers tells them to open it. At this point, the student will have to walk around the table, unzip it, go through the process again, and all the while have to deal with the unwarranted ire of the person searching their bag. Here, The Foreword is going to stand firmly with the students: the problem is being magnified to the extreme for no reason, other than the security officers and teachers wanting to exert their “power” over the students and to try to instill the idea of unzipping on the students so that it doesn’t happen again. If the searchers could just take the bags that aren’t unzipped and unzip them manually, a whole mountain of animosity and tension can be avoided.
A gigantic factor that can easily be overlooked here is that this whole exchange is occurring before 8 AM, a time where even the easiest-going of human beings are prone to extreme irritation and general unpleasantness. The best idea for both parties, students and security officers alike, is to simply take a deep breath, remain rational and try to make it a smoother process. This school is filled with smiling faces; hopefully we can learn to get along.